5x7 field camera options

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Jeremy

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As 75% of my prints are 5x7 palladiums I thought why not skip the digital step and do straight contacts?!?

Are there any suggestions for a 5x7 field camera preferably on the cheap side of the scale? I used to have a 4x5 monorail and hated the damnable thing, but while out shooting last week I got to spend some time with a 4x5 field camera and loved it (technically it was a press camera). I will probably use a "normal" lens for 90%+ of my shots as I do now in 35mm and medium format and won't use much in the way of movements. To keep it cheaper I was looking at the older 5x7 wood field cameras: the korona and the kodak. I will probably develop by brush and inspection to keep it simple and to keep control and for larger prints I can still scan the 5x7" neg and make a larger digital negative.

Any thoughts?
 

wm blunt

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Jeremy,
Do I have a deal for you!! I have a 5x7 Burke and James folding flat bed camera I am thinking of parting with. It's ugly but works fine. New bellows, adapter for linhof style lens boards and extension board. PM me for more info if interested.
Wm Blunt
 

rbarker

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Sounds like a reasonable approach. Be aware, however, that films available are limited compared to 4x5 or even 8x10. It's the "stepchild" format, so it doesn't get the same attention.
 

David A. Goldfarb

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Yes, but on the other side of that, filmholders, processing hangers and tanks are dirt cheap for 5x7". I've been shooting Arista.EDU/J&C Classic/ClassicPan/FortePan 400 in 5x7", which should be fine for Platinum. Efke 100 would be another likely option, and Tri-X and HP5+ are available in 5x7".

There's also a Tachihara 5x7" that shouldn't be too costly on the used market.
 

jimgalli

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I'm having a love affair with a Kodak #2 Improved that I snagged at Ebay a couple of weeks ago for $172 bucks. That would actually be a bit high for an old Kodak but this one had the matching and workable cloth focal plane shutter. The shutter fits in place of the normal back, and the back then goes onto it. Irresistable.
 

MikeK

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I have been a 5x7 shooter for quite a while. Started with an Ansco Tailboard, then picked up an Eastman and used these cameras for a number of years. I then fell in love with the Tachihara 5x7. Film, thanks to our sponsors J&C and FreeStyle is readily available in a number of emulsions.

I have posted my thoughts on the Tachi at Dead Link Removed

Have fun....

Mike
 

donbga

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MikeK said:
I have been a 5x7 shooter for quite a while. Started with an Ansco Tailboard, then picked up an Eastman and used these cameras for a number of years. I then fell in love with the Tachihara 5x7. Film, thanks to our sponsors J&C and FreeStyle is readily available in a number of emulsions.

I have posted my thoughts on the Tachi at Dead Link Removed

Have fun....

Mike

Hi Mike,

Do you know if a recessed lens board would be needed to used for a 90mm SA or perhaps a 110 XL?

Thanks,

Don
 

isaacc7

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David A. Goldfarb said:
Yes, but on the other side of that, filmholders, processing hangers and tanks are dirt cheap for 5x7". I've been shooting Arista.EDU/J&C Classic/ClassicPan/FortePan 400 in 5x7", which should be fine for Platinum. Efke 100 would be another likely option, and Tri-X and HP5+ are available in 5x7".

And right now J and C has Foma 100 dirt cheap... in 13x18. I'm stocking up on it now. If you have to buy holders anyway it's a viable option....

I just pulled the trigger on a used Gandolfi 5x7 traditional. I'm getting it directly from Gandolfi. I'm not sure how many people know this, but they sell used equipment as well as new equipment direct. The shipping is a bit steep, and the US dollar isn't worth too many pounds, but it's worth keeping an eye out on that site for nice cameras...

Isaac
 
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Jeremy

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bmac said:
Did you find out your reaction to fix was something else?

I am going through an allergy desensitizing program (it's late and a few too many crown & cokes at a wedding rehearsal party so I can't remember the correct title) and only have a couple more treatments. The doctor said my reaction started because of crystals/mold/something that had formed on an air purifier I used a bunch of fix had been spilled into the intake filter (didn't know about the spill until later as I wasn't home at the time of the spill). This contributed greatly to some lung problems, but the dr said as long as I'm in a well-ventilated room and wear gloves after the last treatment I'm good to go!
 
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Jeremy

Jeremy

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In looking at prices on ebay and elsewhere on the net I may go with a cheaper 4x5 wood field camera or a press camera so that I can save on start-up costs and carry a smaller bag.

I think over the next week or two while out shooting I will carry two mats. One cut out to 4x5 and the other to 5x7 and see if either fits my eye better than the other. I'm curious as I like to work with the square 6x6 images in addition to the rectangle and 4x5 may be a nice mix of the two, but I had a big stack of pre-cut mats with 5x7" windows and I may have pidgeon-holed myself into these dimensions so that I could use the mats.


And 4x5 would be a great stepping stone to 8x10...
 

Mateo

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I would reconsider 5x7. I bought a beat up Agfa/Ansco on ebay for $142.50 and leave it in the trunk of my car for just in case stuff. If you're making 5x7 prints right now, 4x5 is going to seem too small. In my experience, 5x7 totes around more like a 4x5 than an 8x10. J and C has got some easy to swallow prices on film too.
 

Ole

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I use a Technika III, a big & heavy beast. If I can ever afford it, I want an Ebony!
 

photomc

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Jeremy, I feel your pain and will offer what little I know. I have been searching for an older 5x7 as well and just haven't gotten on the right side of a bid yet. That said, have been doing quite a few ZiaTypes from 4x5 negatives and while I enjoy them, the size is just a tad to small to really enjoy viewing unless the print is right under your nose. Not a bad thing, just not the look I am after. Like you, would love a nice 8x10 but the jump in film and processing is a bit much for me right now..so the 5x7 looks like a good fit.

If you do decide to go with a 4x5 and want to stay on a slim budget, the Crown Graphic I use is great and I can only offer that prices seem to be very good right now. Let us know how it works out - maybe you can modify a 5x7 to give you a 5x5 image for the square look - just a thought.
 

removed account4

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the 5x7 is a great format. i began using one ( through the transitive property ) when i was processing / printing a portrait photographer's work almost 20 years ago. when i processed/printed her work, i fell in love with the size of the negative, not too big, and not too small. a few years later i ended up buying one myself ....

the nice thing about getting a 5x7 camera is that it isn't as huge as a 8x10, doesn't cost anywhere as much as an 8x10 to purchase, you can use most of the lenses that cover 4x5 negative, and if you want to shoot 4x5 you can always get a reducing back :smile:
 
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Jeremy

Jeremy

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William made me an offer I couldn't pass up on and there's a 4x5 back with the camera so I have the option either way--5x7 it is!

Now I just need another apugger to sell me a lens :smile:
 

clay

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Jeremy:

I concur with just about everyone here about the benefits of 5x7 over 4x5. If your intent is to make contact prints, I think you will be MUCH more satisfied with a 5x7 than a 4x5. Particularly with platinum printing and the more textured paper that is used, I find it a rare case where a small 4x5 image will 'work'. Because the 4x5 print is so small, it invites the viewer to stick his/her nose right up into it, and at that range, even a modest amount of texture just makes the image sort of fall apart. A 5x7 is just big enough to enjoy at a distance where resolution issues associated with the rougher paper surface are not objectionable, IMHO.
 

Ole

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Jeremy Moore said:
Now I just need another apugger to sell me a lens :smile:

Something like a 210mm/f:4.5 Xenar? A 180mm/f:4.5 will barely cover, and besides mine is an uncoated one from 1914, while the 210 is from the late 60's. Since I also have a 240/f:5.6 convertible Symmar and a 165/f:6.8 Angulon, I might be persuaded to part with one of the Xenars :wink:
 

John Kasaian

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Jeremy,
I've got three 5x7s in my stable. An Agfa flat bed---bellows that go on forever and enough moves to make a pretzel, but when folded its kind of bulky compared to a self casing type woodie. A Speed Graphic---hand holdable and there are possibilities for considerably more movements than on the it's 4x5 bros. Its lightwieght and fairly compact, and finally, A Keystone F-8 aerial camera---no movements but hand holdable. Takes 7" wide roll film(no holders needed!) and unlike many aewrial cameras this one can be focused. I've got to cut down 9" wide film for it ans the 7" width is not longer in production though.
 

Ole

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John Kasaian said:
A Speed Graphic---hand holdable and there are possibilities for considerably more movements than on the it's 4x5 bros.

About as hand holdable as a 5x7" Technika III, I guess? Possible, but not always feasible...
 

Tom Hoskinson

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donbga said:
Hi Mike,

Do you know if a recessed lens board would be needed to used for a 90mm SA or perhaps a 110 XL?

Thanks,

Don

My 110 XL (one of my favorite lenses) focuses at infinity on my 5x7 Deardorff mounted on a flat lensboard. Ditto for my 90mm SW Nikkor.
 

bmac

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Jeremy Moore said:
I am going through an allergy desensitizing program (it's late and a few too many crown & cokes at a wedding rehearsal party so I can't remember the correct title) and only have a couple more treatments. The doctor said my reaction started because of crystals/mold/something that had formed on an air purifier I used a bunch of fix had been spilled into the intake filter (didn't know about the spill until later as I wasn't home at the time of the spill). This contributed greatly to some lung problems, but the dr said as long as I'm in a well-ventilated room and wear gloves after the last treatment I'm good to go!
Thats good to hear... about the allergies, and the Crown and Coke :wink:
 

John Kasaian

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Ole,

Alas I don't have a 5 x7 Technika to compare it to (I'd love one though, but how would I explain another 5x7 to my wife?) but the old Speeder is very hand holdable--not much heavier than it's 4x5 cousin really--but then its made of wood, not machined from metal like the Linhof nor does it have back movements.

Cheers!
 

Loose Gravel

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Tom Hoskinson said:
My 110 XL (one of my favorite lenses) focuses at infinity on my 5x7 Deardorff mounted on a flat lensboard. Ditto for my 90mm SW Nikkor.


Ditto for my 72mm SAXL.
 
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